Thursday, September 15, 2016

Wilkes Football - Colonels Game Notes vs. Misericordia

Photo Courtesy of Wilkes Athletics
Wilkes Colonels (0-2, 0-1) vs. Misericordia Cougars (0-2, 0-1)
Saturday, September 17, 2016 - 1:00 p.m.
Schmidt Stadium

Wilkes University returns home for its first home MAC game of the season when it takes on Misericordia University. Both teams enter Saturday 0-2 overall and 0-1 in conference play. The Colonels fell at Lebanon Valley College last weekend while the Cougars were defeated at Delaware Valley College.

Colonels coach Trey Brown (Colorado ‘93) enters his third year at the helm of the program in 2016. In just two years, Brown has coached fifteen Colonels who earned All-MAC honors including first team tight end Jeremy Hartman in 2014 and Jason Ugwu in 2015. Under Brown’s guidance, the Colonels offense ranked in the top five in several offensive statistical categories including passing yards and plays per-game. In a game at Delaware Valley in 2014, the Wilkes offense ran 113 plays, a Division III regulation game record. Brown came to Wilkes after four years serving as the quarterbacks and special teams’ coordinator at Muhlenberg. In his role with the Mules, Brown was responsible for coaching the quarterbacks, wide receivers, and special teams as well as the installation of the pass game. Prior to his time at Muhlenberg, Brown spent four seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Lehigh University. The Mountain Hawk offense scored 30 or more points 15 times during his tenure and led the Patriot League in scoring in 2006, when its quarterback was named to the All-Patriot League first team.

Mark Ross (Penn State) is in his fifth season as the head football coach at Misericordia. The first head coach in program history, Ross has led the Cougars to at least one win in each of the last three seasons. Smith has coached his first first team All-MAC player in 2015 when quarterback Jeff Pucket was named to the team. Ross came to Misericordia after spending the previous ten seasons as an assistant coach at Ithaca College and also served at East Stroudsburg in the past. At Ithaca, Ross served as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach since 2007, and also coached the linebackers, defensive line, and kickers during his tenure.

This will be the 4th meeting between the schools as Wilkes leads the series 3-1. Misericordia won last year’s game in Dallas 31-24. The Colonels last win in the series came in 2014, defeating the Cougars 41-7.

Wilkes travels to Chester, Pa. to take on MAC foe Widener University on September 24th at 1:00 p.m.

- The Wilkes passing game ranks sixth in the MAC through two games this season averaging 213.5 yards per-game through the air. Ryan Dailey has thrown for 397 yards on 38-of-62 passing and three touchdowns. In the Colonels last game at LVC, Dailey went over the 5,000-yard mark for his career, standing fourth all-time on the school’s passing yardage list.

- The Colonel rushing game continues to be balanced in 2016 as the team has rushed for 284 yards and three touchdowns. Three different Wilkes players have rushed for 80 or more yards including Jacob Brook who totals 85 yards on 18 carries including one touchdown run. Devon Fink follows with 81 yards and one score off 15 attempts. Jose Tabora saw his first time under center for Wilkes late in the game at LVC coming on in relief of Dailey and has rushed for 80 yards and one touchdown on just six carries.

- Ten different Wilkes receivers caught passes to showcase head coach Trey Brown’s high-tempo aerial attack this season led by William Deemer’s nine catches for 82 yards and one score. Aaron Coyne has posted four receptions for 65 yards and scoring catch. Zach Bogoly has caught four passes for 70 yards including a 39-yard catch that leads all Wilkes receivers on the season.

- The Wilkes offense is averaging 355.5 yards of total offense, good for sixth in the MAC, and looks to continue the high-powered spread attack against a Misericordia defense that has given up 40 and 49 points in its first two losses of the season.

- Tanner Stengel continues to lead Wilkes defensively from his linebacker position posting a team-high 20 tackles including 13 solo stops. Stengel ranks second in the MAC in total tackles behind King’s Bruce Damon (28) as well as second in solo stops to Damon’s 19. Isaiah Robinson is right behind Stengel ranking third in the MAC in tackles with 19 including 11 solo stops from his safety position.

- The Colonels will look to get to the Misericordia quarterback this week after only garnering two sacks in their first two games of the season (Jordan Stiles, 2.0).

- Marcellus Hayes and Ondre Roberts have anchored the Wilkes corner positions posting a combined 26 tackles (19 solo) and three pass breakups through two games. Hayes also adds an interception in week one.

- Misericordia graduated its do-everything quarterback from last season and looks to a new group of skilled players on offense which only is averaging 6.5 points over its first two games. New signal caller Brandon Leap has thrown for 256 yards on 34-of-59 passing and one touchdown. Leap also can run the football from under center posting 30 yards on 25 attempts.

- Ryan Kurtz leads the Cougars ground attack totaling a team-high 61 yards on 18 carries. As a team Misericordia is averaging 64.5 yards per-game on the ground this season after rushing for 155.1 yards per-game last year.

- Much like Wilkes, the Cougars passing game is very balanced as ten different receivers have caught at least one pass. Sam Gillison leads the group with eight receptions for 59 yards.

- Misericordia has six players with ten or more tackles led by Tyler Collins’ 13 stops and one sack.

- With a young secondary, Misericordia is allowing 291.5 yards per-game through the air.

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